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Growth rate in Arab region expected to rise: Kharbash

posted on 24/09/2003: 1462 views

Growth rate in the Arab region is set to increase to 4.5 per cent in 2003, anticipates Dr. Mohammed Khalfan bin Kharbash, Minister of State for Finance and Economy. He said in an address, on behalf of the Arab Group, to the World Bank-IMF joint annual meetings here today that the economic performance of Arab countries exceeds expectations of many observers. He attributed this improvement to the structural reforms carried out in recent years, moderate overall policies and adaptation of policies to mitigate reverse effects of inopportune developments as well as the positive role oil prices had played in producing countries.

"Despite the negative impacts of political and economic developments in the region, Arab economies have shown rigidity in the face of these shocks and have averted an economic crisis that was once seen eminent in some countries during the Iraq war," said Kharbash, who is also IMF'S Deputy Governor. He confirmed that Arab countries would continue their contribution until the new millennium development goals were achieved, particularly provision of official development assistance. He reiterated that Arab countries were keen to keep oil prices at reasonable levels in the interest of consumers and producers alike.

Kharbash called for alleviating the endurance of the Iraqi people through contributing to the rehabilitation of socio-economic institutions and reconstruction of infrastructure in Iraq. On the Palestinian issue, he said socio-economic development in the Palestinian territories are subject to end of Israeli occupation and aggression and attaining just peace. He urged the international community to render more assistance to the Palestinian people. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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